English speaking accountants and bookkeepers in the Netherlands

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Last update on 05-06-2024

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Where to find English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers in The Netherlands?

Finding the right English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper in the Netherlands is not always that easy. The most accounting websites are mainly Dutch and as a foreign resident or company it is hard to decide which accounting firms will have English-speaking employees. Besides that, it is also hard to determine the quality of these accounting firms. In this article, we will tell you more about the rules of bookkeeping in the Netherlands and how foreign businesses or expats can find the perfect English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper. 

 

What's the difference between an accountant and bookkeeper in The Netherlands?

In international terms, accountant is the collective noun for several functions. In The Netherlands, the definitions are a bit different from other countries. A bookkeeper is a more administrative title, and everybody in the Netherlands is able to start a job as a bookkeeper. This is not a protected profession. 

On the other hand, to become an accountant, you should have successfully finished a bachelor or master study in accounting. The theory learned can therefore be tested. A distinction is made between AA-accountant (accountant-administration consultant) and RA-accountant (chartered accountant). An AA-accountant has completed a higher professional education and an RA-accountant has completed a university study. A bookkeeper, however, is not permitted to have a particular educational background to call himself a bookkeeper. An accountant has a controlling role and this is a legally protected profession. 

Bookkeepers do mainly the administrative work like entering invoices, tax declarations and annual reports. If a case becomes more complex, it is often recommended going to an accountant instead of a bookkeeper. You should ask yourself the question if you need an accountant or if a bookkeeper will fit your needs as well. In general, a bookkeeper cost less than a university educated accountant.

Common bookkeeping services are: 

  • Preparing financial reports;
  • Payroll administration;
  • Maintaining historical records (by filing documents);
  • Balancing a general ledger (GL) by transferring subsidiary account summaries;
  • Maintaining a general ledger (GL) by transferring subsidiary account summaries;
  • Maintaining records of financial transactions;
  • Maintaining subsidiary accounts by verifying, allocating and posting transactions;
  • Preparing VAT returns each month, each quarter or each year;
  • Balancing subsidiary accounts by reconciling entries.

An accountant has slightly more authority than a bookkeeper and can therefore carry out more activities. An accountant also has a primarily controlling and advisory role, rather than an executive role like the bookkeeper. 

Common activities of an accountant are: 

  • Drafting internal and external reports
  • Providing advice on financial, business economic, legal and tax issues
  • Auditing annual accounts and financial reporting
  • Closing the annual accounts
  • Drafting the auditor's report
  • Checking VAT returns

The bookkeepers and accountants in our network will be happy to help you with your financial statements, VAT returns or complete accounting.

Tip: use our form to compare up to three different bookkeepers or accountants and choose the one that meets your needs!

How do I know if the bookkeeper is qualified and licensed?

Do you want to be 100% sure that the Dutch bookkeeper you are working with is qualified? Then we recommend checking to see if the firm is registered with the NOAB. NOAB, The Dutch Association of Administration and Tax Experts, is a professional association with over 1,000 member firms. At Boekhouders.nl, we work only with experienced and qualified firms. 

How to start your business in The Netherlands?

The first thing you have to do when starting a company is to set up a business plan. This plan will give you support, and it is something to fall back on if you are struggling with setting up the business. After completing the business plan, you have to go to the Chamber of Commerce to register the company. If you decide to start op a BV structure (the Dutch equivalent of a limited company) you should register the company via a Dutch notary. 

As soon as the company is registered, you will receive a company number, and you can apply for a business tax id-number. After receiving both numbers, you are ready to kick-off the business!


business plan

Which business types do we know in the Netherlands, and what are their differences?

The most common business types in The Netherlands are:

  • Eenmanszaak (one man firm),
  • Vennootschap onder Firma (partnership)
  • Besloten Vennootschap (Ltd.).

Read about the difference between these business types below.

Eenmanszaak, VOF,  BV:  the differences

The benefit of an ‘eenmanszaak’ and ‘VOF’ (Vennootschap onder Firma) is the easy accessibility to start your own business. When you are thinking about starting a ‘BV’ (Besloten Vennootschap) you have to arrange additional things. First you have to go to a notary to set up a company deed and a shareholder agreement.  

The biggest difference between an ‘eenmanszaak’ / ‘ VOF’ and a ‘BV structure’ is the private liability. Let’s hope it will never happen, but when your company would go bankrupt you are personally liable with an ‘eenmanszaak’ or ‘VOF’. If you are the owner of a ‘BV’ you are normally employing yourself to the company which will give you more certainty. 

While reading this you probably think that it is the safest and best option to set up a BV structure. Maybe it is, but this depends on the volume you will make and how high the profit will be. The most start-ups start as an ‘eenmanszaak’ or ‘VOF’ because of the tax benefits you will  have. If you are not sure about the right business type for your business, we advise you to discuss your case with an accountant.

 

Which administrative duties do you have in the Netherlands?

Whether you have a one-man firm (eenmanszaak), a partnership (VOF) or a Ltd. (BV - besloten vennootschap) some administrative duties are still the same. Every company is legally obligated to do the following:

  • The administration of in- and outgoing invoices;
  • Retain their administration for a minimum of 5 years;
  • Tax declaration each month, each quarter or each year;
  • Personal tax declaration.
English speaking bookkeeper

If you are the owner of a BV, you have to do some additional things as well: 

  • Corporate sales tax declaration (vennootschapsbelasting aangifte);
  • Compile and deposit the annual tax statement.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What services can English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers in the Netherlands help me with?
English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers in the Netherlands offer a wide range of services, including bookkeeping, tax compliance, payroll administration, and financial planning.

Who would benefit from using the services of English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers in the Netherlands?
Anyone who needs accounting services in the Netherlands but is more comfortable communicating in English would benefit from using the services of English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers. This includes international companies, expatriates, and foreign nationals with a business in the Netherlands.

How do I find a reputable English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper in the Netherlands?
You can find a reputable English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper by using our free online comparing service. Receive up to three free quotes from different bookkeepers or accountants in your area. 

How much does it cost to use the services of an English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper in the Netherlands?
The cost of using an English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper varies depending on the type and complexity of the services you require. It's best to request quotes from several firms to compare prices and ensure you get the best value for your money. Note: we can only help companies with an official business registration number.

What information do I need to provide when working with an English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper in the Netherlands?
When working with an English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper, you will need to provide them with information about your financial transactions and records, including invoices, receipts, bank statements, and any other relevant financial documents. 

What is the process for filing taxes in the Netherlands for an international company or individual?
The process for filing taxes in the Netherlands for an international company or individual will depend on the specific circumstances and tax laws that apply to their situation. An English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper will be able to assist you with the process and ensure that you are in compliance with all relevant tax regulations.

How to find an accountant, tax accountant or bookkeeping firm in The Netherlands?

Do you need help finding a registered accountant in the Netherlands for bookkeeping and/or preparing financial reports? Or perhaps your company needs an audit firm in The Netherlands?

At Boekhouders.nl we believe in the strength of helping each other. Therefore, we connect dozens of entrepreneurs every day. We own a database of over 800 accounting firms in the Netherlands, including the metropolitan areas of Amsterdam, Rotterdam. Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven.

If you are still looking for a financial partner, someone who thinks along with you and delivers quality, you should definitely use the free service of Boekhouders.nl. We can connect you with up to three fluent English-speaking accountants or bookkeepers in your area. Without obligation, you can have a meeting with all of them, to see if there is a match. Entering into a partnership is entirely your choice, there are no obligations.

Require bookkeeping services in The Netherlands? Just fill out the form below, or please contact us via the phone (+31 (0)432003092) or e-mail (info@boekhouders.nl). 

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